It’s Comcraptastic! III: The Search for Service

Today was supposed to be D-Day- the day we start the jump into digital cable here at Photosurealism HQ. “Start” because there are still significant remote interface issues to work out (believe me, I’m not happy about that either), but that was the project for tomorrow.

“Was” because Comcast completely dropped the ball. I mean, I may have been hard on them in the past (OK, I don’t mean that), but this is inexcusably inept.

I ordered a TiVo a while back. To use that on digital cable, you need a CableCARD. I poked around the Comcast site which has zero info on CableCARDs, so I used the chat and they said I needed to schedule a service call to get it installed. That in itself is ridiculous since it’s the same procedure as setting up one of the other digital devices a customer can do herself, but OK.

So I called (on August 23rd) and got an appointment for them to come this morning (September 3rd) and install it. I also told them we’d need to split the cable to make some more jacks. OK.

The TiVo arrived sooner than I’d expected, but I left the appointment alone because I was planning to be home today. On the 26th, I tried to order the digital converters for my other equipment online and couldn’t. I contacted the online chat at Comcast and they said I couldn’t order because there was an order (my CableCARD install) open already.

I told them I needed three digital to analog converters. And they ordered them for me and gave me an order number. They confirmed that I still needed the CableCARD. Yes, I do.

The converters arrived and I tried to activate them but couldn’t. That’s OK, the Comcast guy can do it when he comes. I bet we need more cable amplification or better splitters or something.

So in preparation for today I moved two of the Replays upstairs and wired everything up except the cable which needs to be split. Also means I can recable downstairs and clean some things up.

Then I waited by the phone for Comcast to call. They call thirty minutes ahead and were supposed to be here between eight and noon, so by 10:30 I was pretty annoyed.

At 12:05, I was incensed.

I called Comcast and was told that the appointment was no longer booked, though the operator could see I had scheduled it on the 23rd, it was cancelled when they resolved my order on the 26th. No, they can’t come today- not that I wanted to wait here the rest of the day for them anyway.

I’m going to be incredibly charitable here because I see what could’ve caused these problems: a bad ticketing system. I believe that because we have a bad ticketing system here at work (yeah, I said it). But ours doesn’t have this problem.

Looks like they can only have one ticket open per account. That’d explain why I couldn’t order the converters and why they didn’t come today. Well, that and a healthy does of carelessness.

They know I need a CableCARD. They know I don’t have it (because they didn’t install it and there’s no other way to do it). The problem should not have been resolved- or the appointment shouldn’t have been cancelled. Same thing apparently.

Doesn’t matter the cause- I made an appointment and they cancelled it without asking or telling me. This shouldn’t happen for any reason, ever.

So now I have to recable everything again so analog cable will work tonight. And I can’t begin on my remote problem because the cable converters won’t work so I can’t try to change channels on them. That puts me at least a day behind.

They won’t be here until tomorrow afternoon, which could mean pretty late in the day, so that’s probably another day behind. I’ll be lucky to get this project done even with a five-day weekend.

Thanks, Comcast! Thanks for nuttin’.

Leave a Reply